RTI not for assets, liabilities of officials

Recently, on 1st July 2008, the High Court of Karnataka declared that personal information of the public authorities cannot be made available through the Right To Inforamtion Act, 2005. The order was a result of a writ petition filed by H E Rajashekarappa, Joint Director (Statistics) at Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services Department, at Ambedkar Veedhi, Bangalore. Rajashekarappa filed the case on 30th June 2006.

On 17 March 2006, one Narasimha Murthy, retired statistical inspector filed an RTI application with the PIO at the Government Planning and Statistics Department, M S Building, asking for the total assets and liablities of Rajashekarappa, for the period of 2002-03, 2003-04 and 2004-05.

But Rajashekarappa objected to his application and the Public Information Officer (PIO) rejected the application (by an order at Annexure ‘E’). This aggrieved Murthy and he filed an appeal under section 19(8) of Right to Information Act, 2005 before the Joint Secretary, Government Planning and Statistics Department, the Appellate Authority Under the RTI Act.

After this move Rajashekarappa was asked by the appellate body to furnish the required documents sought by Murthy but yet again he asked to cancel the application. The reasons given by his counsels, M S Prathima and S V Narasimhan were that the details of assets and liabilities is personal information and does not fall under the public affairs of the public authority.

The counsels also metioned that the appellate body made a blunder by setting aside the order made by the PIO and asking Rajashekarappa to furnish details. Thus Murthy was asked to pay a penalty of total Rs.10,000, with Rs.5000 due in three months from the ruling, and his application was declared canceled.

The High Court’s also ruled that it cannot be said that the RTI Act encompasses the personal information of the officials of public authorities. Thus Murthy had no right to seek such information under this Act. The court also called his application troublesome and an attempt to settle scores with Rajashekarappa.

The verdict.

While the ruling quashed Murthy’s application and barred him from knowing the required details, it has left bigger questions on the nature of the curbs on the RTI Act.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

How Mumbaikars can register civic complaints and ensure BMC action

BMC's system to register civic complaints is good, but the Blue Ribbon Movement is trying to improve redressal for a better and cleaner Mumbai.

In early January, Dahisar resident Pankati noticed garbage being thrown behind one of the electric junction boxes in Kandarpada, her neighbourhood. It had accumulated over a few weeks. This was not a garbage collection point and it used to be clean before. She decided to raise a civic complaint on that garbage issue using the ‘MyBMC Assist’ WhatsApp Chatbot, which is run by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). Pankati, a volunteer with the Blue Ribbon Movement, found garbage being dumped behind an electric junction box in Khandarpada. Pic: Aniruddha Gaonkar After waiting for over a month, the garbage was still…

Similar Story

City Buzz: Delhi ranks 350th in global index | Heat wave grips north… and more

In other news: Heat-related illnesses claim lives; Urban women in salaried jobs at 6-yr low and Delhi issues first bus aggregator licence.

Delhi ranks 350 in global index; no Indian city in top 300 Oxford Economics’ new ‘Global Cities Index’ report ranks Delhi at 350, the highest among 91 Indian cities. This was the first edition of the index, released on 21st May by the global advisory firm, Oxford Economics, which is assessing metropolitan cities across 163 countries on five parameters - economics, human capital, quality of life, environment, and governance. The top three cities in the list are New York, London and San Jose. In the category of human capital, which “encompasses the collective knowledge and skills of a city’s population,” measured…